New York Giants: Examining David Wilson's Breakout Performance vs. New Orleans
He'll need help from the running game.
And if the Giants' running game is going to assist Manning by helping the offense maintain balance and keep opposing defenses honest, Ahmad Bradshaw can't do everything on his own.
He'll need help from David Wilson.
Bradshaw continues to show us that he has the skill set, but not the endurance to survive a full workload over 16-plus games. The veteran running back has been hobbled for much of the season and has received 15 or fewer carries in five of his last six starts.
With Andre Brown out indefinitely and Bradshaw dealing with several bumps and bruises, episode No. 1 of The David Wilson Show aired on Sunday nationally, with the rookie No. 32 overall pick breaking free of Tom Coughlin's doghouse with a 100-yard, three-touchdown performance in a win over the New Orleans Saints.
Let's take a look at Wilson's breakout game at MetLife in order to draw some knee-jerk-style conclusions regarding what the electric Virginia Tech product might be able to do for Big Blue during the final three weeks of the regular season and, if they're lucky, the playoffs.
Impact on Offense
Wilson is not a good blocker, but few rookie backs are. Eventually, the Giants will expect him to become better at that part of the game before he gets regular reps on all downs.
Right now, though, the Giants aren't ashamed to admit they're just giving him the ball and saying "Go!"
But even that isn't so simple, as Wilson revealed on his six-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. On that play, Wilson had nowhere obvious to go at the outset.
Too early to tell if he's consistent, but we definitely know he's explosive.
Impact on Special Teams
One of Wilson's three touchdowns came as a result of a 97-yard kick return, but he made a tremendous impact throughout the day in the return game.
In fact, he set a new team record for all-purpose yards with 327 against New Orleans.
Even before Bradshaw suffered his latest injury, Wilson had set the tone for the Giants with a 58-yard return on the first play of the day. The middle return didn't look special from the outset, but at around the 20-yard line, Wilson exhibited a phenomenal burst to simply outrun three or four surrounding cover guys.
Bradshaw is undergoing a series of tests this week on his knee, so there's no telling what type of role he'll be able to play in Atlanta Sunday.
Wilson will have to be a factor for the Giants to win that game, and so long as he protects the ball and Manning when asked, he might have a chance to keep increasing his role. Perhaps so much so that, by the time we enter the offseason, Bradshaw will have become the backup.
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